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HomeWorld NewsTop UN court opens hearings into Israel's Rafah invasion - SUCH TV

Top UN court opens hearings into Israel's Rafah invasion – SUCH TV

The United Nations’ top court has opened two days of hearings into a request from South Africa to halt Israel’s military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

It is the fourth time South Africa has asked the International Court of Justice for emergency measures since the nation launched proceedings alleging that Israel’s action in Gaza amounts to genocide.

According to the latest request, the previous preliminary orders by The Hague-based court were not sufficient to address “a brutal military attack on the sole remaining refuge for the people of Gaza.”

Israel has portrayed Rafah as the last stronghold of Palestinian resistance group Hamas, brushing off warnings from the United States and other allies that any major offensive there would be catastrophic for civilians.

South Africa has asked the court to order Israel to withdraw from Rafah; to take measures to ensure unimpeded access for UN officials, humanitarian organisations and journalists to Gaza; and to report back within one week on how it is meeting these demands.

In January, judges ordered Israel to do all it can to prevent death, destruction and any acts of genocide in Gaza, but the panel stopped short of ordering an end to the offensive that has laid waste to the Palestinian enclave.

In a second order in March, the court said Israel must take measures to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, including opening more land crossings to allow food, water, fuel and other supplies to enter.

Most of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million people have been displaced since Israeli attacks began.

South Africa initiated proceedings in December 2023 and sees the legal campaign as rooted in issues central to its identity.

Its governing party, the African National Congress, has long compared Israel’s policies in Gaza and the occupied West Bank to its own history under the apartheid regime of white minority rule, which restricted most Blacks to “homelands.” Apartheid ended in 1994.

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